The History of Tractebel

Centuries of expertise in energy, water and infrastructure projects.

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Tracing its origins back to the first companies that were born in the second half of the 19th century, Tractebel has continually developed its international activities as an energy infrastructure operator. In addition to this, it also operates as a global engineering consultancy company and general contractor.


1862

Tractionel

Tractionel, which becomes Tractebel, is the heir of Compagnie Mutuelle des Tramways. The alliance of Compagnie Générale pour l’Éclairage et le Chauffage par le Gaz created in 1862, Société Générale des Chemins de Fer Économiques (1880) and Société Générale Belge d’Entreprises Électriques (1895), will give birth to Tractebel in 1929.

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1890

The Lahmeyer Group

In 1890, the company W. Lahmeyer & Co is founded in Frankfurt by Wilhelm Lahmeyer, an entrepreneur with a great vision for the capabilities in the emerging electrical industry. His inventions and functional discoveries mark the way of this triumphal success. The Engineering Department of the former Lahmeyer AG becomes the nucleus of Lahmeyer International when the firm was established in 1966 as a company of engineering consultants. Tractebel acquires the Lahmeyer Group in December 2014. Today, engineers, natural scientists and economic experts from over 30 disciplines, employing the same philosophy, offer services in the sectors of energy, hydropower and water resources as well as building and transportation.

Find out more about the Lahmeyer Group

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1947

Coyne et Bellier

Coyne et Bellier is established by André Coyne in 1947 as Engineering Consultancy André Coyne et Jean Bellier (ACJB). André Coyne is a renowned and reputed French civil engineer who has designed 70 dams in 14 countries, of which the Kariba Dam on the Zimbabwe-Zambia border and the Daniel-Johnson Dam in Quebec, to name a few examples. ACJB joins Tractionel in 1976, which merges with Electrabel later on. The company has undertaken around 600 dam projects in over 70 countries worldwide, 90 hydropower plants with a total potential capacity of over 70,000 MW, the civil design of the nuclear island of 60 nuclear power plants and other large infrastructure projects such as waterways, railways, underground structures and special buildings.

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1965

LEME Engenharia

Tractebel traces its activities in Brazil back to the establishment of LEME Engenharia, in 1965. The majority of the existing Brazilian hydropower plants has been planned, designed or built under the supervision of the company’s specialists. Besides being a key player for hydro projects, LEME Engenharia has designed and studied more than 80 extra-high voltage substations and 25,000 km in transmission lines, among them the recent Madeira Transmission Line (± 600 kV / 2,375 km) and the Belo Monte Transmission Line (± 800 kV / 2,092 km). Water infrastructure is another key sector for the company. A remarkable project which counted on the expertise of its specialists was the macro-drainage of the UNA Basin for the expansion of the water supply system of the city of Belém, in the north of the country, benefiting around 2 million inhabitants. LEME Engenharia was acquired by Tractebel in 2000 and it is today one of the most important engineering consultancy companies in Latin America for the energy, water and infrastructure markets.

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1982

International Marine and Dredging Consultants

Tractebel is co-shareholder of International Marine and Dredging Consultants (IMDC), which was founded in Belgium in 1982. For almost three decades the company has been acquiring vast experience through water related studies such as flood risk assessment, hydraulic modelling, coastal protection, sedimentation risks, dredging engineering, blue energy, river training works, inland navigation, port infrastructures and offshore installations.

Find out more about IMDC

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1995

Technum

In 1995, Tractebel reinforced its participation in Belgium's infrastructure sector with the foundation of Technum from the merge of several smaller Flemish agencies. Some important projects such as the Antwerp Mobility Master Plan, the Brussels’ EU Parliament Buildings and the Albert II Dock in the Port of Zeebrugge counted on the expertise of Technum, which was rebranded to Tractebel in 2016.

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2016

GKW

In 2016, GKW becomes part of the Tractebel family as well. GKW Consult ranges among the top international independent consultants for environmental engineering, with particular emphasis in the fields of water supply, wastewater treatment and disposal. Due to the growth of emerging and fast-growing nations, the demand for fresh water increases massively. Studies have shown that about 4 billion people worldwide are facing water scarcity. By using its expertise in water infrastructure and irrigation, Tractebel wishes to improve the efficiency and sustainability of water management systems to secure water supply for agriculture and drinking water.

Find out more about GKW

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2016

RED

At the helm of the Energy Transition, Tractebel acquires RED, an award-winning company specialising in low energy building design, in October 2016. Since its foundation in 2004, RED has delivered over 200 data centre project designs, many of them achieving new energy benchmarks. Headquartered in London and with international hubs in Dubai and Singapore, RED benefits from its Global Design Centre located in Manila in developing leading-edge software models for energy efficiency, Building Information Modelling (BIM), engineering calculations and drawings quicker and more efficiently than traditional models allow.

Find out more about RED

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History articles

Coyne et Bellier: a History of Large-scale Engineering Projects

André Coyne and Jean Bellier began setting new standards the moment they met. Their first project, the Marèges Dam in France, set the tone for their future collaborations.

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LEME Engenharia: Energy, infrastructure and engineering

Established in 1965, TAMS do Brasil Engenheiros Consultores soon grew to be one of the primary engineering consulting companies in Latin America. It was not until 1977 that the company changed its name to LEME Engenharia. Why the change? It was time to acknowledge the company’s expanded portfolio of activities.

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Lahmeyer: A Historical Expert of Energy and Hydraulic Infrastructures

Lahmeyer International follows the tradition established by the innovative founding father, Wilhelm Lahmeyer, a contemporary of the Siemens brothers. For more than 45 years, engineers of all disciplines have been working together at Lahmeyer International. They apply their knowledge and experience in the most varied project assignments and they play a decisive role in promoting the international reputation of the company through the quality of their work.

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